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Pope Francis visits regions of Iraq once held by Islamic State

Pope Francis visits regions of Iraq once held by Islamic State

World
ReutersPope Francis is visiting parts of northern Iraq that were held by Islamic State (IS) militants on the third day of his historic trip to the country.Christians were among those targeted by IS when they seized the region in 2014, carrying out human rights abuses.The Pope has arrived in the city of Mosul where he is praying among the ruins of its churches, several of which were destroyed during the fighting.Later he will celebrate Mass in Irbil, with up to 10,000 attendees expected.There are fears the service could become a coronavirus super-spreader event.Iraq has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections over the past month. The 84-year-old leader of the Catholic Church and his entourage have all been vaccinated, but Iraq only received its first batch of doses last week.'Pope's visit ...

Pandemic heats up state tax competition to attract businesses and residents

Finance
sturti | E+ | Getty ImagesThe tax competition between states to attract and keep businesses and residents has been ongoing for decades. The national migration pattern has generally trended from cold, high-tax northern states to warm, low-tax southern and south western states.Retirees, no longer tied to a workplace or raising children, have been a major part of the caravan of migrants heading south. However, for all but the wealthiest, taxes are usually not the main factor."I think for most retirees who move, it's about quality of life," said Ryan Losi, a CPA with Piascik based in Richmond, Virginia. "The [lower] taxes are the icing on the cake for them."The icing, however, is becoming the cake itself for a broader swath of Americans. With tax rates likely to rise, state income, property an...
X-ray tomography helps reveal how solid state batteries charge, discharge

X-ray tomography helps reveal how solid state batteries charge, discharge

Science
Jan. 28 (UPI) -- With the help of X-ray tomography, scientists have for the first time observed the evolution of materials inside solid state batteries during the charging and discharging processes. The breakthrough observations -- detailed Thursday in the journal Nature Materials -- could help researchers develop more efficient solid state battery materials. Advertisement For their study, researchers used a complicated imaging technology called operando synchrotron X-ray computed microtomography to observe changes in a battery's electrode material at the interface between lithium and solid-state electrolytes. The unprecedented images showed the charge-discharge process causes voids to form at the interface, causing loss of contact between the lithium and solid-state electrolytes and trig...

State tax departments set their sights on pro athletes’ earnings

Finance
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers at a game against the LA Clippers at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on July 30, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.Mike Ehrmann | Getty ImagesIn a search for revenue, state tax departments have set their sights on a tempting target: professional athletes."If you're a state tax revenue official, you get a big bang for the compliance buck by targeting 12 guys on a pro team that are making big money," said David Lopez, CPA with David A. Lopez and Co. in Philadelphia. His client base includes professional athletes."With states' tax bases eroding in the last year, they are getting more aggressive [with pro athletes]," he said.More from Smart Tax Planning:Why small businesses face a nightmare tax situationSome newlyweds face marriage tax penalty for 2020 ...
CFP National Championship: Record-setters Smith, Saban power Alabama past Ohio State

CFP National Championship: Record-setters Smith, Saban power Alabama past Ohio State

Sports
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Alabama's Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith teamed up for record-setting performances to lead the Crimson Tide to a dominant 52-24 victory over Ohio State in Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship game. Smith set the record for the most catches in a title game by halftime of the victory at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Advertisement "Heaven knows what he would have done if he had played the whole game," Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a postgame video conference. The Heisman Trophy winner had 12 grabs for 215 yards and three scores before he left the game in the third quarter due to a finger injury and did not return. Smith was named the Offensive Player of the Game. Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris also scored three touc...